"I love Your First Year of Work - A Survival Guide. Every college and university should have this book, in numbers, in their libraries, bookstores, and Career Centres.” - Prof Jonathan Jansen, Rector UFS



Your First Year of Work review in Metro Eirann

Wonderful review by Sergio Angelo Bujanda, in Metro Eirann. Click on the image to enlarge. 






Shelagh Foster's presentation to undergraduate students at the University of the Free State was one of the best I had ever witnessed. In preparing young people for the world of work she was utterly professional in her approach; mixing humour, common sense and evidence to both inform and inspire students who were anxious about stepping out of the comforts of campus life to start their first jobs. I learnt a lot from Ms Foster and we have started discussions about how to include her book, and her thinking, in our work on campus and careers.  

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector UFS

Fresh out of university with all the academic knowledge embedded through years of hard study, but where to now? The world is mine for the taking but where do I grab on? The presentation by Shelagh Foster provided an enlightening view of how to approach the world of nine-to-five. Together with her book Your First Year of Work, she provided a comprehensive view of what to expect from the working world and gave unique advice of how to be the best you can be in the corporate environment.

Her book is a must read for everyone finishing university and looking for that first working experience. Addressing topics ranging from interview skills and dress code to how to type professional emails and a whole lot more, Shelagh helps ease the shock of the corporate world with practical, easy to apply techniques to make a success of not only your first year of work but every year following.  

Intern, Standard Bank Graduates Programme 

So many young matriculants and graduates enter the market place poorly prepared to face the challenges of the working world. Shelagh’s book will guide you through the process from beginning to end: from structuring a CV that will make you stand out and tips to get you through the interview, to advice on how to dress and behave appropriately and everything you need to know about decoding office culture.

Shelagh is a communications expert and will show you how to use written, verbal and non-verbal communication skills to shine in your career.  


This book addresses one of the biggest problems in the workplace – communication – with your colleagues, on the phone and in writing; what to wear, the job market and how to make the most of your skills so you can advance in your career. Other tips include including seven essential practices in the workplace, phone etiquette and email and Internet usage. It is a must-have for all new entrants to the workplace and makes a great gift to fresh graduates.  

Drum magazine

Elke ouer moet hierdie boek vir hulle kind koop. Elke skoolbiblioteek moet hierdie boek aanhou, selfs universiteitsbiblioteke. Dit is letterlik ‘n gids van a – z van hoe jy as pas afgestudeerde student jou soektog na ‘n betalende werksposisie behoort aan te pak. Dis prakties en in eenvoudige verstaanbare taal geskryf. Die voorbeelde wat gebruik word om situasies uit te beeld is uitstekend en toepaslik. Shelagh Foster het hierdie gids geskryf na aanleiding van die duisende e-posse wat sy van werksoekers gekry het. Die e-posse was in meeste gevalle so swak bewoord, boonop met spelfoute in en baie informeel. Sy het besef dat jongmense nie weet hoe om die proses van om werk te soek op ‘n professionele wyse aan te pak nie. En siedaar, hier is daar nou ‘n uitstekende gids wat as riglyn dien.  

Sarie magazine

Foster takes an holistic approach to job seeking, which really makes you admire her attention to detail. In one section she presents a column that lists ‘experience on one side and ‘workplace relevance’ on the other. So where it will have ‘achieved three distinctions in diploma while working part-time at local hardware store’ on the experience side, it will have ‘good multi-tasker’ listed under workplace relevance.

This is the stuff that CVs are made of – in every sense…

…In the bigger picture of developing the enterprise called self, the chief executive should put it to the heads of department that getting this book would be tantamount to hiring an expert business consultant indefinitely on a once-off fee. A deal which, all should agree, is invaluable.  

Tshepo Tshabalala, The Star

Having gone through the book I've found valuable information which has helped me realise that the twenties are especially important in developing the self and behaviour in the workplace. There were things that I realise I am quite good at that gave me a confidence boost, such as the verbal communication skills. I also found that this section brought to light the things that I could improve on to be in top shape even in my current situation at University - such as meeting with thesis supervisors and approaching lecturers with questions and issues.

The general feeling of the book is approachable and to the point. I appreciate the way it is divided up into sections and sub-sections which make it much easier to process. In my generation, I feel chapter 8 is the most important once in the workplace. Social etiquette has changed exponentially even in the last 10 years and often parents don't know how to address it at home and it seeps into the workplace. I know I fell victim to the phone addiction and the quick glance on Facebook when I was working last year – I felt extremely guilty when I found myself doing it. Having the chapter to read is important in getting the facts straight.  

Kerri von Geusau, Honours student